Entering George Newton’s workshop is a hazardous experience: the sloping shed roof full of suspended tools, and for a tallish, clumsy bloke like myself, getting clocked by a bafflingly intricate bit of carpentry is a cert. Yet once in it’s fascinating: years of built up work, uncountable shelves, racks and drawers packed with everything woodwork.
Good friends of the paper, the Turrell Brothers – those highly talented filmmakers you may remember from such films as Tummy Bug and their music video for The Madeline Rust – are up to their old tricks again. They got in contact recently to let us know that they’re making a new film, titled Poison Tree. The project has been funded on the iShorts scheme by Creative England, but they’re also crowdfunding as well as looking for places to shoot around Beeston.
Hi John. Tell us a little about yourself….
Married for over 20 years, 5 wonderful children and I travel across the country with my business as an Independent Procurement consultant (and no I won’t bore anyone explaining what that is!!! My kids have already explained that it is quite dull). Played cricket for many years with the Church of the Assumption Cricket Team and currently enjoying archery with the Wilford Bowmen.
You once told me you got into film because ‘You Only Live Once’. But what was the spur that made you think ‘I wanna do that?’
My mid-life crisis centred on film because for me film is the greatest story telling medium, but it took me reaching the grand age of 49 to have the courage, stupidity and stubbornness to attempt to shepherd a team of talented artists into producing a film. To produce a film of the quality of Go With God is a real honour because you receive so much input and creativity from others, and such generosity it leaves you feeling humbled.
The ‘Go With God’ (www.gowithgodfilm.com) journey took Frank and I to the Dublin International Short film which was a fabulous experience. A whole weekend of watching short films from around the world in a pub. It took about 2 weeks for the penny to drop that Beeston would revel in having its own film festival.
The Beeston Cinema and The Beeston Film Festival have been great for the town, with the Festival a sell-out and a strong success: is it returning?
Of course it will be returning. The 2015 festival was a wonderful success. Not only did we have fantastic films from over 20 countries, Sergio and all the staff at The White Lion Bar & Kitchen made the festival into an amazingly hospitable event. For 2016 we intend to make 2016 even better, more films, more nights, more awards and more filmmakers. The Festival 2016 launch event takes place the 11th July 2015 at The White Lion Bar & Kitchen.
The festival is about
- Celebrating the work of the worlds talented filmmakers
- Creating an opportunities for local filmmakers to screen their work
- Bring to Beeston the stories and tales from all around the global – we may speak many different languages but we can still enjoy each other’s stories
The launch event celebrates the 2016 Festival competition opening for filmmakers, which means once again across the globe, from Beeston to Brazil, Toton to Taiwan and Chilwell to China, filmmakers will put their films into competition to secure firstly a festival screening and for the lucky few, winning a glorious B’oscar.
The festival rewarded artists with a piece of art designed by Nottingham’s cherished Anna Colette Hunt. The B’oscar (short for Beeston Oscar) has delighted award winners. For 2016Anna will create a unique “Best in Festival” award. More B’oscars will be awarded too, with new awards for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Script. Will extend the festival into a Friday – Sunday weekend, more networking opportunities made available and on and on.
I recently canvassed filmmakers asking what did they most enjoy from festivals and they responded with they have asked more popcorn, red carpets, parties, and networking opportunities and we will factor all of these into our planning.
How has Beeston influenced your work?
Beeston has been my home for the past 15 years. It has been great place to live because of the great facilities and wonderful people who live here.
As well as the festival launch, 23rd May we are holding a Best of Festival night reprising all the award winners and a hand-picked selection to create an awesome night of short films. So if you missed the festival here is a chance to sample some of what you missed.
Finally in the autumn there will be Pre-festival autumn programme called Global Beeston. The Beeston Film Festival has already made many friends across the world and some them will be selecting a of short films covering a specific area to demonstrate to Beeston what they have to offer. There will be programmes covering films from Taiwan, Tasmania, Africa and Germany.
All of which makes for an exciting future for the Beeston Film Festival.
Hello, my name’s Mouni – you say it like ‘Moony’ (it’s Algerian) – and I draw things. I suppose I’m an illustrator.
You’re the person responsible for setting up the excellent White Wall Gallery at the White Lion: what inspired that?
I went into the pub last summer and got talking to Sergio about art and his love of culture etc, I then mentioned that I was an artist and exhibit work at times. I asked him whether he thought it would be a good idea to support and indeed exhibit local artists’ work on the walls of the pub to create a warm and locally embracing atmosphere, he agreed and his exact words were, when are you starting this project? Yesterday? We hit it off from then on and have worked really well together since then.
Your work is hugely imaginative, often surreal. Tell us why that is?
I don’t think painting reality has ever been my strong point. It doesn’t excite me and it is beyond my ability to slave over a really accurate depiction of something exactly as it really is. I think my natural reaction to that is to delve into surrealism and apply myself to a more unusual outcome where imperfections are given extra significance or hidden. When I paint it is important for me to set up a situation where I know my own rules, always allowing for experimentation.
You might have guessed, but our Creative this week works under a pseudonym. You might not however have guessed at what a Vlogger actually is. We wired up our webcam and had a chat with Ms Moonstone:
What inspired you into writing? Your website explains that it was a long-held ambition, but what pushed you to go pro?
It’s really the only thing I’ve ever felt truly passionate about (well, there was a brief dalliance with the theatre, but that’s best left in the past!). I always wanted a job that involved writing, and I fell into one after uni, but then realised pretty soon that any old writing wasn’t going to cut it – the writing had to be meaningful to me. I’d been writing professionally for years, for companies, publishers and authors, before I considered myself a ‘proper writer’: the day my first book was published.
How did you get into pottery? A long term interest or something you stumbled on later in life?
When I was about 20 I was doing a science degree at a college in Luton where I stumbled upon a ceramics department and had sudden desire to do pottery. I have since realised the influence came from watching the Potter’s Wheel, a short interlude film often shown on BBC TV during the 1950’s and 60’s. So I did evening classes for a couple of years. I desperately wanted to study medicine however, so when I eventually got into medical school ceramics went onto the back burner. I eventually became a GP and once I was earning, collected other potters pots instead of making them.
Scott Bennett is very funny. I mean, VERY funny. His live act is in turns hilarious, side-splitting and wet-yourself laughing funny. Yet it also has a real warmth to it, a fondness for the everyday absurdities. He is also something of an expert on carveries. A handy man to have around on a Sunday Afternoon spent in a Toby Carvery.